How I Gained Weight and Got Healthier Over 10 Years

Photos: Clockwise from Top left – At my thinnest, Top right – At least my arms are a bit stronger, Bottom right – Doing well but tummy bloated from gluten, Bottom left – Curvy, healthy and happy!

Hello lovely people! Someone suggested it might be a nice idea to share my weight gain and consequent health journey with you.

The reality of me being so thin and also unhealthy in my late 20’s early 30’s:

I was ALWAYS cold; if I got ill I’d become under weight and weak so easily; if I fell down (which I am prone to do when fatigued/not concentrating) I’d get really hurt because I had no padding over my bones; I struggled carrying my heavy boobs around on such a narrow frame and always had a bad back. I was so pale and not olive skinned like I should naturally be (which I covered up with fake tan).

BUT I was constantly told by people that I looked amazing and should feel grateful that I was ‘so skinny’.

I honestly thought through my 20’s and early 30’s that it was normal for young people to be over-worked, slightly stressed and to push their body to it’s limits and then prop it up with caffeine, sugar and beer/cocktails because that seemed the social norm at the time.

How I got healthy in my 30’s:

I mostly cut out foods containing gluten and dairy as I have an intolerance to them (meaning the body doesn’t absorb nutrients from those foods as it can’t digest them properly but it can, confusingly, make people look fat/bloated in places). I eat regular balanced meals with enough protein. I priorities sleep (even though that means saying no to morning invites). I don’t push myself to the limit of my strength and energy for fear of missing out (using up all of my body’s resources). I got a full blood work-up and found I was totally lacking in B12 and Vit D (no wonder I was so weak, brain fogged and grey!).

Even though I have MS now, I still feel healthier overall these days!

Has wanting to gain or loose weight prompted you to start a health journey? Let me know what you think in the comments!

✨🖤Chrissie🖤✨

Vegan Hotdog Meal from Zad’s Manchester

When it’s not possible to pile on anymore topping 😁

My tea from Zad’s Vegan Takeaway

Hotdog – odd little pieces of red stir-fried onion, okaaay 😐 but loads of spicy BBQ seitan pieces (to bulk up the skinny sausage), mayo and jalapeños, which tasted lush as a whole but I really missed having a big pile of soft, brown onions

Curly fries – who doesn’t love a curly fry!

ZFC – spicy fried cauliflower, so much like popcorn chicken

Lemon sheese cake – Delicious

Overall really creative and tasty! 😋

✨🖤Chrissie🖤✨

The Hip Hop Chip Shop at The Carlton Club, Manchester

The Hip-Hop Chip Shop has gone mobile! They are parked throughout February at The Carlton Club in Whalley Range, Manchester.

We decided to book on their pop-up website (which I now think is mostly booked up) to make it easier ordering food from their pop-up van. You can visit the van but you might have a bit of wait so (as they advise) wrap up warm!

This is the Vegangstarr Sausage Meal

Skin-on chips; Mushy Peas; Battered Sausage and Tartare Sauce; with a side of Battered pickled gherkins and a Chocolate Brownie by Lush Brownies (Chortlon) for desert.

They also have a battered halloumi meal if that’s more your deal.

The fact that people peel potatoes when making chips now amazes me. Battered gherkins have some real bite to them in texture and flavour. The inside of the sausage has a soft consistency like sweet potato pakora but it tastes exactly like a chippy sausage – whaat?! The choccy brownie is perfection.

FYI This is enough food to last me for my tea tonight and breakfast and dinner tomorrow.

✨✨🖤Chrissie🖤✨✨

Really Easy Way to Make: Dairy-free, Gluten-free Mac n’ Cheese

Hi lovely people!

I was having a very Dyspraxic day (knocking everything over/dropping everything/getting stuff tangled up/bumping into stuff/tripping up/behaving more drunk than when I’m actually drunk!) so upon arrival to his flat, my Bloke surprised me with (gluten free, dairy free) Mac n’ Cheese to cheer me up.

Ingredients:

Any own brand Free-From (gf) Pasta

@freeandeasyfoods (df) Cheese Flavour Sauce

Rice or Oat Milk

1 heaped tbl spn Nutritional Yeast

A pinch of Garlic salt and Pepper

Nommm 😋

✨✨🖤Chrissie🖤✨✨

7 of the Best Tinted Lipbalms and Lip Oils

Fruu Colour Balm in Peach Perfect £5.00

This has quite a thick consistency but still glides on easily. Soothing Aloe and Banana extracts. Good colour payoff but I should have chosen Cherry as it’s too pale for me. My lips are really happy with it and so is my purse!

Organic / Vegan

Badger Lip Tint in Garnet £5.25

This doesn’t glide on easily but it is hydrating and moisturising with Shea Butter and Cocoa Butter. Sensibly priced for something you would use everyday. The Garnet shade would be a moody sort of nude for people with olive – darker skin tones.

BUAV (leaping bunny) approved cruelty free

Revolution London Good Vibes Lip Balm in Euphoria £5.00

Sadly, the colour of this balm is incredibly sheer. Not quite as long-lasting as some other lip balms but it is a very purse friendly fiver. Cannabis Sativa extract to soothes chapped lips.

Vegan

Glossier Mango Balm.com £10.00

Anyone else hate the title of this, just me?! The colour of this balm only shows up on the palest part of my wrist, it’s that sheer. It works wonders on dull, dry, dehydrated skin. I apply this on my lips, my cheekbones, the tip of my nose and my chin to instantly make me look fresh and awake too.

Paw Paw Rich Mocha Balm £3.95

A tube full of air! I was half way down the tube, squeezing with both hands before any of it came out. I love the colour but it’s too thick to spread consistently. This felt great on my lips at first but when it wore off (rather quickly) my lips felt dryer than they were before!? More like lipstick than a balm. Contains active ingredients of Olive Oil, Paw Paw and Aloe.

Vegan

e.l.f. Mocha Kiss Lip Oil £7.00

This is like the lip gloss you’ve been dreaming off. Glides on easily, with a sheer but noticeable tint and shine. The Jojoba, apricot and Vit E ingredients stopped my lips from drying out.

Vegan

Lottie London Lip Oil in Extra Cherries £4.17

This oil (with Almond Oil with extracts of Cherry) works well and stays put, without feeling too thick or goopy. I love the retro packaging but sadly there isn’t any colour pay off, just a very subtle iridescent shine.

*In the above image I called this colour ‘Sugar’ by mistake*

Vegan

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Which one’s would you use? Do you have any recommendations?

✨✨🖤Chrissie🖤✨✨

Vegan and Cruelty free Winter Skincare Saviours

Hello lovely people! Between the wind, rain, cold and central heating it’s no wonder our skin can become sensitive, dehydrated and dry, or like mine, freak out and become oily and dry in different places.

Here are my winter skin saviours!

e.l.f. Holy Hydration Face Cream

A really light, easily absorbed daily moisturiser which can be layered with serums and balms. This moisturiser contains (plant based) Squalane to improve moisture balance and elasticity, Peptides to protect skin, B3 to brighten and even the complexion and Hyaluronic Acid to help the other ingredients sink deep into the skin.

UpCircle Organic Face Serum

This serum uses repurposed coffee extract, which is rich in antioxidants and rosehip and jojoba oils to brighten and care for dry, dehydrated skin. I apply this serum and before it sinks in completely I apply moisturiser, which helps the moisturiser to sink in easily. It does have a tiny tingly sensation at first but doesn’t make my skin flush or react.

Wild Tree Skincare Organic Body Scrub Melt

This has the most delicious chocolate scent! It also has the most amount of oil (cacao seed butter and Shea butter) and scrubby bits (cacao seed powder) in anything I’ve ever used before. It’s really easy to hold in your palm and one melt covered my whole body. I don’t think I’ll have dry skin again for the next year! Okay, a slight exaggeration there.

Lucky Cloud Soothing Super Balm

This balm contains Oat Oil, Evening Primrose Oil and Sweet Almond Oil to calm dry, sensitive, itchy skin. The Lavender and Geranium Oils also calm body and mind. It’s a little miracle in a pot!

Balade En Provence Solid Night Cream

I normally have very cold hands so I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to use this but it melted into my palms straight away! Containing Cocoa Butter and Apricot Kernel Oil, this cream is both hydrating and moisturising, without clogging pours or creating an oil slick on your pillow.

Quite the dream team and all plant based!

Feel free to Like, comment (ask questions), follow and share.

✨🖤✨Chrissie✨🖤✨

Delicious Gluten-free Plant-based Mezze

Toofoo (smokey version) coated in sesame oil and chilli oil and grilled so it tastes like roast chicken, which I’m dipping into Helmans vegan mayo.

PICKLES!

Batata Harra (lightly fried potatoes with red peppers, coriander, chili, and garlic).

Falafel (from a shop bought dry mix, then shallow fried) which I’m having hot with caramelised onion humus.

The falafel and tofu are easy to prepare and store in the fridge until you want to cook some. The potatoes are a simple and quick dish to cook fresh.

🖤✨Chrissie✨🖤

The Best of Vamp It Up 2020 – Style, Plant-based Food and Lockdown Lifestyle

Even though this has been one of the weirdest years I’ve had, being in ‘lockdown’ isn’t that different from having chronic fatigue anyway really. Lots of telly watching, reading, putting outfits together for no particular reason, eating copious amounts of takeaway and going out to have a quick drink, when I’m able.

Leave your questions or comments below and I will consult my foggy (but sometimes, strangely encyclopaedic) brain to reply to them lol

🖤✨Chrissie✨🖤

Gluten and Dairy Free Savoury Snack Haul

It wasn’t until I went gluten and dairy-free that I realised most crisps have lactose or wheat gluten in their flavouring. I’ve often walked down a whole crisp (and flavoured nut) isle, reading all of the ingredients on everything, only to end up buying salt and vinegar or Thai sweet chilli flavour yet again.

So I thought this might be handy for anyone with the same intolerances/allergies.

L-R

Top: Cofresh Corn nuts (also have lemon and chilli one’s), The Foodie Market Bites, Specially Selected (Aldi) Sririacha Nachos, Specially Selected Root Veg Crisps.

Middle: Oh So Delish (Aldi) Wasabi peas, Ten Acre When the Cheese Met the Onion, Bombay Mix, Salted roasted Peanuts.

Bottom: Oh So Delish (Aldi) Thai Spicy Bites, Manomasa Chipotle and Line nachos, Salted Roasted Cashews, Manomasa Green Lemon and Pink Peppercorn Nachos.

These have been gathered from Tesco, Ocado, Aldi and my local corner shop.

🖤✨Chrissie✨🖤

December in Photo’s

Christmas fleece – Cotton Traders

Joggers – Hunkermoller

Ugg/Emu style boots – Dorothy Perkins

Making the most of the dark afternoons by making the living room feel all cozy.

Lots of natural skincare and lifestyle goodies in this Freedm Street advent calendar (items available to buy individually from heir online shop).

Making ‘special coffees’ by adding Baileys or Sailor Jerries Spiced Rum and throwing in pieces of salted caramel or hazelnut caramel choccy.

Jumper – Shein

Joggers – Cotton Traders

Bizarrely, for someone who has disabling arachnophobia when I see one, this was one of my favourite books as a child. It’s magical and a little creepy!

Little reindeer I found at the back of a cupboard!

Sparkly chocolate vegan brownie from Zad’s takeaway.

Dad decorated the whole downstairs in under 15 minutes. Secret festive ninja!

I’ve been watching His Dark Materials on BBC iPlayer and I am so impressed with this adaptation. Especially my favourite bad-ass actress, Ruth Wilson as Mrs Coulter.

I’ve developed quite a obsession with cute cartoon penguins so I was really happy to get this card from my Dad ^_^

Tee – Next

Christmas fleece – Cotton Traders

Joggers – Cotton Traders

At the Blokes flat we have our 22inch Christmas tree. I swear, after Christmas this is being packed away exactly as it is now – it was so fiddly to decorate!

Like most people in he UK we don’t have candy canes but we do have gelatine-free sweets!

This wonderful wreath gives me serious Narnia vibes. Unfortunately where we live, neither of us can put wreathes on our front door as they would get nicked and given to someone’s Mam or Missus.

MOOEY CHRISTMAS YOU LOVELY LOT

🎄✨Chrissie✨🎄